Some things are a great chance to try out new DIY skills. Other things, not so much. Dentistry? No thanks. Heart Surgery? No thanks. New roofing? No thanks. Trying to handle a divorce case on one’s own is taking a chance on DIY with issues that can have a long effect. Is a DIY divorce for you? You make the call.
Total DIY divorce:
This is the divorce that a couple wants to do totally without assistance from a lawyer. Frankly, I’ve never understood this. A couple who is divorcing is choosing to work together to finish the most important part of the divorce. But, that part aside, they are choosing to reach an agreement, prepare all of the pleadings from the beginning to end and all court appearances on their own. Unfortunately, this is full of problems. Everything that has to be filed with the court, pleadings, has to be filed following certain rules and also has to follow rules that apply just to divorce (Texas Family Code). The issue that I see most is that people reach agreements that are just not appropriate or allowed by the rules, or they don’t accurately draft the filings to get their agreement right in the papers. The problems that I see in these types of cases the most are child possession schedules, child support, retirement account awards and homes. Finally, the documents have to be presented to the court in the appropriate manner for that particular court.
Partial DIY divorce:
This is the divorce where the couple reaches an agreement, but only one spouse is going to retain an attorney. The spouse that retains the lawyer becomes the shuttle between the lawyer and the other spouse. This can create a problem when one spouse keeps changing the agreement or when the documents don’t seem to get the agreement correct. And, how does the spouse know that the documents are done correctly or accurately? One lawyer cannot represent two people in the divorce ethically.
A little bit of DIY for the divorce:
The couple reaches an informal agreement, on their own, and they each take a copy of the agreement to their respective lawyers to work on making their agreement into a divorce decree and all of the necessary documents in their case to finish it well.
How are you and your soon to be ex-spouse going to reach an agreement? What are you going to agree to? Once you have decided you want to divorce, your spouse may or not be in agreement with that decision which can make talking about the divorce hard. And, even if you are both in agreement, it can be difficult at best. Family law attorneys know what areas you need to cover and lawyers know what needs to be included in the decree of divorce.
There are certain risks with a DIY divorce. Call Jill O’Connell regarding your divorce today, 940-497-5454.
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